The Best in Holiday 2012 Gift Finds is an ongoing series until December that celebrates the practical to the extravagant, the unusual to the commonly needed items of everyday life.
From food, wine and spirits to beauty, clothing and even home goods and appliances, we have been trying and testing and ultimately weeding out the good stuff you should consider for giving this holiday season. Take us shopping with you.
Many American cities, especially east coast ones, have reborn waterfront or industrial areas which were gutted and remodeled into tourist meccas of public markets, retail shops and restaurants. One of my favorites is Reading Terminal Market, a place where the tourists and the locals of Philadelphia come together.
One of the best made in the USA finds for this gift giving time of year is the Pennsylvania General Store. You're instantly a kid in a candy store, where gift baskets defy imagination and the choices cover everyone on your list. You can also find Phillies merchandise and Philadelphia specific souvenirs.
Pennsylvania General Store carries a wide selection of handmade craft items and edible treats unique to the area, including various local grocery items, chocolates, fudge, pretzels and the much ballyhooed Hope's Cookies, which have an ardent cult following.
In celebration of Pennsylvania General Store’s 25th anniversary, proprietors Michael & Julie Holahan are offering a new gifting group of made in Pennsylvania sweets, chocolate covered pretzels and potato chips, Phillies merchandise, kitsch-like miniature liberty bells and mini mock constitutions too.
If you are in the area, visit them at Reading Terminal Market, an enclosed public market in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania General Store is one of a hundred other merchants, all offering a variety of fresh produce, meats, fish, groceries, and every treat under the sun.
A holiday food gift from Pennsylvania supports American-owned and operated specialty food manufacturers located throughout the Keystone State. We loved their quality and selection and hope you consider them if you elect to give food gifts this year.
Some of the offerings this year include:
Philly Chocolate Bar Sampler
We tried and loved this affordable sampler for the discerning chocoholic, a nicely tied up bundle of four chocolate candy bars. You get to taste the artisan talents of Eclat and John & Kira's with the old school skills of Ashers and Lores. This sampler of full sized bars includes John & Kiras Dark Chocolate (62%) with Guajillo Chili Pepper & Almonds, Eclat Milk Chocolate (33%) Obsession Bar with Pretzel Bits, Lores Dark Chocolate (60%) and Ashers Dark Chocolate (48%) with Sea Salt.
The Pennsylvania General Store Weekender ($89.99) A wooden picnic hamper chock-full of the some of PA. state’s most delicious specialty foods: Hand-rolled Uncle Jerry’s hard pretzels and Betsy Lantz’s Hot Sweet Dipping Mustard (both from Lancaster County); Ye Olde College Diner Stickie Buns (from State College); Café Excellence Coffee, Hope’s Cookies and Asher’s Keystone Crunch (all from Montgomery County); Society Hill Party Mix (from Philadelphia); and an assortment of chocolate-covered pretzels plus our own Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt candy bar, both made in Mifflin County.
Chocolate Scrapple ($22.99) This "Scrapple" is a pork-free zone, just a pound of rich, milk chocolate-covered nuts, popcorn, marshmallows and pretzels in a gift tin and tied up with a bow.
There are many more selections at their website.
Pennsylvania General Store also ships food items and gift baskets to Pennsylvania food lovers located far beyond state borders, especially during the holidays.
Pennsylvania General Store is located in Philadelphia’s historic Reading Terminal Market (11th & Arch Streets), and a holiday retail store is available during November and December at its warehouse in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, located at 228 Krams Avenue.
All gifts can be purchased in-store, online or toll-free at 1-800-545-4891. http://www.pageneralstore.com/retail-locations